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"The Barlow Road ... Barlow Pass to Oregon Highway 35"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Barlow Pass ...
Image, 2013, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road sign, Foster Farm, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken May 4, 2013.


The Barlow Road ...
The Barlow Road was a part of the Oregon Trail. The road was authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1845, and by September 1846, it made its way around the south side of Mount Hood. This 80-to-110-mile road provided an alternative to the dangerous and expensive route that used rafts to transport wagons down the Columbia River. The Barlow Road began at The Dalles, Oregon, headed south through Dufur and Tygh Valley (which some folks consider the start of the Barlow Road), then turned west at Gate Creek and generally followed the White River before it headed north through Barlow Pass and Government Camp. It then passed through "Tollgate #5" near today's Rhododendron and continued to the community of Sandy, where it turned west and ended up at Oregon City.


Follow the Barlow Road ... (east to west)


 
Barlow Pass to Oregon Highway 35

Overview ...

From the Devil's Half Acre Campground the route of the Barlow Road goes north for less than a mile, following the east side of Barlow Creek until it turns west and crosses the creek. Heading west, the route of the Barlow Road crosses Barlow Pass on USFS Road #3531, once the main route of Oregon Highway 35. The route then heads to Oregon Highway 35 and Highway 26. Highlights include the Pioneer Woman's Grave, crossing the East Fork Salmon River, and rock walls and trail blaze marks.


Barlow Pass ...

Barlow Pass is the highest point (4,157 feet) on the Barlow Road and today is the county line between Wasco County and Clackamas County. The pass is located on USFS Road #3531, once the main route of Oregon Highway 35. The current "Barlow Pass" of today's "straightened-out" Highway 35 is at 4,161 feet elevation.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.28, elevation 4,157 feet)
(45.16.57N, 121.41.07W)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The Barlow Road reaches a high point in elevation of 4,157 feet. The road is bisected at the pass by old Highway 35, the loop road around Mount Hood to Hood River. A paved parking lot is located atop the road and is popularly used by hikers in summer and skiers in winter. A handsome Forest Service sign, carved about 1935 by Larry Espinoza of the Zig Zag Ranger Station, stands atop the pass and has a relief panel showing emigrants with ox teams traveling the Barlow Road. ..." ."

Image, 2012, Sign, Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Barlow Pass sign on Oregon Highway 35, at the junction with USFS Road #3531. The actual "Barlow Pass" is located just south of Highway 35, on USFS Road #3531, at elevation 4,157 feet. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Sign, Barlow Road. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3530, at Barlow Pass. Image taken August 14, 2012.

USFS Road #3530 to Barlow Pass ...

U.S. Forest Service Road #3530 begins west of the Oregon community of Wamic and ends at Barlow Pass. It generally follows the original Barlow Road route, staying north of the White River before crossing and heading to Barlow Creek. At Barlow Creek, Road #3530 heads north keeping to the west side of the creek while the "original" Barlow Road route keeps to the east side of the creek. One mile north of the Devil's Half Acre Campground, the USFS road turns west and heads towards Barlow Pass. This road, while not the "original" Barlow Road, was called the Barlow Road. Traces of the original road can be found along the entire USFS Road #3530.

NOTE:   As of October 2013 USFS Road #3530 was washed out from Devil's Half Acre Campground to Barlow Pass.


Image, 2012, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road, U.S. Forest Service Road #3530, at Barlow Pass. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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U.S. Forest Service Road #3530, at Barlow Pass. Image taken August 14, 2012.

As of October 2013 USFS Road #3530 was washed out from Devil's Half Acre Campground to Barlow Pass.
Image, 2012, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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U.S. Forest Service Road #3530, at Barlow Pass. The original Barlow Road crosses this road near this location. Image taken August 14, 2012.

Between Road #3530 and Road #3531 ...

From the Devil's Half Acre Campground the original Barlow Road heads north, following the east side of Barlow Creek for less than a mile until it turns west and crosses the creek. The trace then continues west, crossing today's USFS Road #3530 near that road's junction with USFS Road #3531 (the original Highway 35) and continues through the forest, crossing the Pacific Crest Trail and dropping down to USFS Road #3531 at Barlow Pass. Park at the Barlow Pass Sno-Park.


Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road trail at Barlow Pass, looking east from the Sno-Park on USFS Road #3531. Trailhead for the Cascade Crest Trail where it crosses the original Barlow Road. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road trail at Barlow Pass, heading east. View from where the Cascade Crest Trail crosses the Barlow trail. Image taken October 22, 2013.

Barlow Pass Sno-Park ...

After crossing USFS Road #3531 at Barlow Pass the Barlow Road continues west, re-entering the woods at the Barlow Road Sno-Park and continuing downhill along the "Grave Trail". At one mile the trail passes north of the Pioneer Woman's Grave and crosses the East Fork Salmon River. It continues on another mile to where it crosses today's Oregon Highway 35 just east of the USFS Road #3531 loop's western junction with Highway 35.


Image, 2013, Painted sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road trail heading west from the Barlow Pass Sno-Park. This location is the trailhead for the one-mile-long "Grave Trail", the USFS Trail #485. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Gray Jay, Barlow Pass, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Gray Jay at the Barlow Pass Sno-Park, Oregon. Image taken October 22, 2013.

Once known as the "Oregon Jay", the Gray Jay was discovered by Lewis and Clark.

Grave Trail ...

The one-mile-long "Grave Trail" (USFS Trail #485) begins at the Barlow Road Sno-Park. It follows both the Barlow Road and the old Territorial Stage Road between Barlow Pass and the Pioneer Woman's Grave. Whereas the Barlow Road proceeded straight towards the Pioneer Woman's Grave, the Stagecoach Road switchbacked as it descends the ridge.

About 100 feet into the trail the ruts of the original Barlow Road proceed straight down the hill while the stagecoach road is the wider path to the left. The stagecoach road makes two switchbacks, passing on both sides of the original path, until it re-joins the original road. This trail is a cross-country ski trail during snowy months.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.29)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... West of the pass [Barlow Pass], the road descends into the watershed of the East Fork of Salmon River. This segment of the Barlow Road is in pristine condition and is used as a cross-country ski trail. Boy Scouts have cleared the route of brush and have constructed water bars at steep places to slow erosion. At three badly eroded sections, the ski trail leaves the route of the Barlow Road and runs parallel across the floor of the forest. At several points are stacks of boulders at the roadside. Some aged trees yet bear blazes, though such marks are disappearing with the growth of bark. The Barlow Road enters a level area east of the East Fork of the Salmon River at a site known as Pioneer Woman's Grave. ..."

Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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"Route of Barlow Road" sign, Barlow Road path at Barlow Pass Sno-Park, heading west. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Heading west on the Barlow Road path from the Barlow Pass Sno-Park. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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"Original Wagon Route" sign, at split of the old Stagecoach Road (to the left) and the Barlow Road trail (to the right). Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Heading down the Barlow Road trail. Image taken October 22, 2013.

Territorial Stage Road ...

Approximately 100 feet from the "Grave Trail" trailhead (USFS Trail #485) the ruts of the original Barlow Road proceed straight down the hill while the old stagecoach road is the wider path to the left. The "Territorial Stage Road" makes two switchbacks, passing on both sides of the original Barlow Road path, until it re-joins the original road. This trail is a cross-country ski trail during snowy months.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.29)


Image, 2013, Territorial Stage Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Territorial Stage Road switchback path, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass Sno-Park, heading west. Image taken October 22, 2013.
Image, 2013, Territorial Stage Road at Barlow Pass, click to enlarge
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Territorial Stage Road switchback path, Barlow Road at Barlow Pass Sno-Park, heading west. Image taken October 22, 2013.

Pioneer Woman's Grave ...

(T3S, R9E, Sec.29, elevation 3,701 feet)
(45.16.54N, 121.42.00W)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The Pioneer Woman's Grave is a rock cairn replica on the south side of old Highway 35 on the east side of the East Fork of Salmon River at the western base of Barlow Pass. Road construction crews discovered this site in 1924 while building the Mount Hood Loop Highway 35. That summer a highway crew disinterred human remains in a wagon box. Reportedly they reburied the bones and constructed the cair replica over the new grave.

This site has subsequently had a succession of historical markers. The first was a wooden cross atop the cairn which bore the inscription "In Memory of a Pioneer Woman of 1845". The marker and cairn were dedicated on June 30, 1924. On August 23, 1936, the Multnomah Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution mounted a bronze plaque at this site. It was subsequently stolen. In the 1930s the Forest Service or the Civilian Conservation Corps erected a large, rustic, wooden marker on the north side of the highway opposite the cairn ...

On August 23, 1982, the Multnomah Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, mounted another bronze plaque near the stone cairn: "In memory of an unknown pioneer woman of 184?". ..."



Tribute to a Barlow Road Traveler
"Here, in 1924, beneath decades of brush, engineers for the Mt. Hood Loop Highway discovered a grave. An old wooden wagon tongue served as headboard. Workers dug up a wagonbox casket that held the remains of an emigrant woman. After reburial, a cross was placed in tribute to this unknown pioneer. Once the highway opened in 1925, Mt. Hood Loop travelers stopped to place stones and flowers at the site."

Image, 2012, Pioneer Woman's Grave, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Woman's Grave, Barlow Road. Sign at the junction of Oregon Highway 35 and the western end of U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pioneer Woman's Grave, click to enlarge
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"Tribute to a Barlow Road Traveler" ... Pioneer Woman's Grave, Barlow Road. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pioneer Woman's Grave, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Woman's Grave, Barlow Road. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pioneer Woman's Grave, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Woman's Grave, Barlow Road. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pioneer Woman's Grave, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Woman's Grave, Barlow Road. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, Pioneer Woman's Grave, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Woman's Grave, Barlow Road. Image taken August 14, 2012.

Crossing the East Fork Salmon River ...

The Barlow Road route crosses the East Fork Salmon River just northwest of the Pioneer Woman's Grave. To find the original trail and wagon ruts from the crossing, walk west from the Pioneer Woman's Grave approximately 1,000 feet (crossing the creek) and enter the woods on the north side (right side) of the USFS Road #3531 immediately west of the creek. Head towards a stone wall running parallel to the road. The stone wall defines one of the ruts of the Barlow Road.

Jim Thompkins wrote in "Discovering Laurel Hill and the Barlow Road (1996, 2002):

"River crossings, even rivers as small as a creek, take on a particular personality. Since wagons slide down and are dragged up hills they leave heavier ruts. Since going up hill is a slow process, wagons will go side by side whenever possible." At this East Fork Salmon Creek crossing the ruts on the east side of the creek (where the pioneers headed to the creek) are "only visible during dry weather and in early morning or evening shadows. There is a spring running down one rut."

The three parallel ruts on the west side however, where the pioneers had to drag their wagons uphill from the creek, are nicely visible. The rut closest to the road has a rock wall.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.29)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... Not evident to the many visitors who stop to read the sign and plaque and, at times, to place flowers on this cairn [Pioneer Woman's Grave], are the sharply defined ruts of the Barlow Road. The road trace passes across the flat on the east side of the East Fork of Salmon River and fords the stream about 20 feet above the large culvert over which passes old Highway 35. The road then moves through a cut, nearly five feet deep, on the west bank and turns north in the forest directly toward Mount Hood. At this point the Barlow Road commences the transit of an ash flow from the volcano. Its trace is clearly evident on the floor of the forest. ..."

Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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Sign, East Fork Salmon River at U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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East Fork Salmon River, as seen from U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at the East Fork Salmon River. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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"Rut", Barlow Road west of the East Fork Salmon River. View is looking east with road heading downslope to the East Fork Salmon River. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.

East Fork Salmon River ... "Rock Wall"

Rock walls along the Barlow trail are a result of the pioneers removing rocks from the path and stacking them up on the side of the trail.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.29)


Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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"Rut", Barlow Road trail west of the East Fork Salmon River. View is looking east with road heading downslope to the East Fork Salmon River. Note rock wall on the left. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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Rock wall, Barlow Road at the East Fork Salmon River. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.
Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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Rock wall, Barlow Road at the East Fork Salmon River. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.

East Fork Salmon River ... "Marking the Trail"

Pioneers often marked trees with blazes to indicate the wagon trail. The blazes are generally diamond shaped made by one axe cut down and one axe cut up, generally five to six feet above the ground. One such blaze can still be seen in a tree at the west end of the rock wall near the East Fork Salmon River crossing.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.29)


Image, 2012, East Fork Salmon River, click to enlarge
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Tree blaze, Barlow Road at the East Fork Salmon River. At U.S. Forest Service Road #3531. Image taken August 14, 2012.

Oregon Highway 35 and Highway 26 Junction ...

From today's Oregon Highway 35 the path of the Barlow Road heads north and then west, following the slope north of today's highway, being criss-crossed by both Highway 35 and Highway 26, before it dips south crossing Highway 26 just east of the USFS Road #2656 junction. The route then turns northwest crossing USFS Road #2656 before heading towards Summit Meadows.

At the junction of Oregon Highway 35 and Oregon Highway 26, the Barlow Road route runs through the "island" located between the two highways.

(T3S, R9E, Sec.30)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The [Barlow Road] crosses new Highway 35 and continues north more than a quarter mile in a setting of firs and pines. The wagon ruts have cut through the shallow soil on the ash flow. The road turns sharply at a large boulder on the north side of the road. The base of this boulder is clearly scarred -- perhaps purposefully -- with an arrow or gash pointing to the southwest.

The road trace then follows the east bank of Salmon River. Over the years those improving or maintaining the road stacked rocks and boulders along the route. This segment has some of the finest visual qualities of the entire road segment on the Forest. The trace meanders between pines and around boulders across the ash flow to Highway 26. The Barlow Road then turns due west ...   The route is badly disrupted for nearly three-quarters of a mile by the major highway interchange of Highways 26 and 35. The trace of the road, however, is still visible in the forested traffic "island" in the middle of the interchange. A small segment of the road runs through the Forest north of Highway 26 ...  but is compriomised visually by construction in 1989 of a new, four lane section of highway between the interchange and Government Camp. ..."


Image, 2013, Brightwood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Western end of the "island" between Oregon Highway 26 (left lane) and Oregon Highway 35 (right lane). Image taken July 8, 2013.



  • NEXT: Summit Meadows to Government Camp
    • Overview ...
    • Trillium Lake Sno-Park ...
    • Crossing USFS Road #2656 ...
    • Trillium Lake ...
    • Summit Meadows ...
    • Summit Meadows ... Summit House
    • Summit Meadows ... Perry Vickers House ... Third Tollgate (1866 to 1871)
    • Summit Meadows ... Pioneer Cemetery
    • Summit Meadows ... Baby Morgan Grave
    • Summit Meadows ... "Graffiti Rocks"
    • Still Creek and East Perry Vickers Road ...
    • Still Creek Campground ...
    • Still Creek Campground ... Swim
    • USFS Barlow Trail #601A ...






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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Lat/Long were obtained from plotting location on National Geographic's TOPO! program, 3.4.3, 2003.

Sources:    [See Barlow Road Sources]

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October 2013